Who needs the NBA! The Nazzaro Center and the North End Athletic Association have teamed up once again to provide the neighborhood with one of the best in-house basketball programs in the city. Bigger and better than previous years, the Small Fry League, as it is generally called, provides basketball for all age of boys and girls up to 15 years old. Games/instruction are held on Fridays and/or Saturdays up the Nazzaro Center gym and run from late October until March 3. Shirts, all equipment, instruction and coaches are all provided by the NEAA/Nazzaro and the whole program culminates in a spring awards banquet where every child receives an award based on participation, not wins and losses. The only requirements are a pair of sneakers and a $20 registration fee (current members of the Nazzaro Center can register for free).
The league, which began play on October 29th, consists of three divisions. The youngest division, for novices and players very new to the sport, is more instructional, playing with a smaller ball, 8 foot baskets and a fluid arrangement of teams and games.
The other two divisions, the Junior Varsity and Varsity divisions, consisting of four teams each, follow a regular schedule, which includes an exhibition season, a 12 game regular season and culminates in a “Final Four” play-off. There are also regular weekly standings posted throughout the season. Games are played primarily on Friday evenings for the Varsity and Saturday afternoon for the JV, but occasionally that could change. Like this past Saturday, for example, when the 4 JV teams played Friday and all eight teams played on Saturday.
And this is all a prelude to the 5 travelling CYO Knights teams that are sponsored by the NEAA and Nazzaro Center (more on that in a later edition). Overall, any given child who participates in both programs can end up playing in excess of 30 games! Probably more than the NBA will end up playing!!